OLYMPIA FIELDS, IL -- Senior Brinson Paolini fired an even-par 70 on Sunday to pace the Duke men's golf team to an 11-over 291 in the opening round of the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational. The Blue Devils enter tomorrow's second round in fourth place, eight shots behind first round leader Arkansas.
"The conditions were tough today but I was able to stay patient and take advantage of the few opportunities I had," said Paolini. "We had a good finish today as a team. We are looking forward to staying focused and being committed all day tomorrow."
Arkansas fired a three-over 283 to grab a five-shot lead over Northwestern (288). Auburn is six shots back after posting a nine-over 289 and followed by Duke (291), Oklahoma State (293), Florida State (293), Illinois (295) Florida (295), Stanford (297) and Purdue (297).
Nicholas Losole (Northwestern) fired the only under-par round of the day to grab the first round lead with a two-under 68. Paolini is tied for second at even-par along with Daniel Berger (Florida State), Sebastian Cappelen (Arkansas), Austin Cook (Arkansas) and Tyler McCumber (Florida).
Paolini opened the day with a birdie on the par 4 first hole before slipping back to even-par with a bogey on No. 3 (par 3). The Virginia Beach, Va., native parred the final six holes of the front side to make the turn at even-par. Paolini suffered a bogey on No. 10 (par 4) but recovered with seven straight pars and a birdie on the par 5 18th hole to record one of six rounds of even-par or better golf on the opening day.
Senior Julian Suri posted a two-over 72 on Sunday and is tied for ninth after 18 holes of play. He parred the first four holes of the day and added four more pars following a bogey on No. 5 to make the turn at one-over. Suri also carded a bogey on the par 3 12th hole but bounced back with birdies on No. 13 and No. 14. Back-to-back bogeys on No. 15 and No. 16 dropped Suri to two-over before he capped off the day with pars on No. 17 and No. 18.
Austin Cody, a junior from North Charleston, S.C., recorded a team-best three birdies along with an eagle en route to a three-over 73. He began the round with a birdie on No. 1 before going through a bogey, triple-bogey, bogey stretch from No. 3-5. He settled in with five straight pars before registering a birdie on the par 4 11th hole to get to three-over. Cody slipped to six-over following a bogey on No. 13 and a double-bogey on No. 14 before bouncing back to play the final four holes at three-under. He started the run with a birdie on No. 15 and capped off his round with an eagle on the par 5 18th hole. Cody enters the second round of play tied for 20th.
Freshman Mads Soegaard recorded 12 pars and six bogeys en route to a six-over 76. He enters tomorrow's second round tied for 46th overall. Senior Adam Sumrall had 12 pars, five bogeys and a double-bogey while posting a seven-over 77. The South Bend, Ind., native is tied for 52nd.
Duke will open second round play on Monday at 8:40 am on the front side of the Olympia Fields Country Club South Course. The Blue Devils will be paired with Oklahoma State and Florida State.
Live scoring for the event is available at www.golfstat.com. Follow the Duke men's golf team on Twitter @Duke_MGolf for images, updates and insights on the program.
*** Cody's eagle on No. 18 was the lone eagle on the opening day of play at the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational ... he shared the tournament lead in par 5 scoring at -2
*** Paolini shares the tournament lead in pars with 14 ... he is tied for second in par 4 scoring at even-par